Sport, without spin, from around the world. Matthew Hall considers the issues behind the headlines and tells the stories that others don't.
Gene Simmons & rugby's cheating shame
The so-called "gentlemen's game" has Matthew Hall spitting blood.
I confess that I was never a fan of Kiss when the American glam-rock band was at the height of its power during the late 1970s.
I was more ACDC in that battle of the bands, supporting hometown heroes (I grew up in Perth, where original lead singer Bon Scott was One Of Us) before discovering there was a universe beyond Sunday night's Countdown and Molly Meldrum.
The Clash, Martha and The Muffins, and Blondie were a world away and that, at the time, was a very good thing.
In hindsight, though, Kiss was an awesome phenomena of excess, clunking songs, and theatrics.
While ACDC may have sung If You Want Blood You Got It, Kiss actually delivered it in their outrageously bombastic stage shows.
Bass player Gene Simmons, who has since carved out a career as a TV reality show star was a demonic guitar player, who flashed his tongue, breathed fire and spat blood.
OK, fake blood.
Which brings us neatly to the astonishing case of what the British media are calling "Bloodgate".
Rugby union is an intriguing sport. It's been described as the "gentlemen's game", mainly because until relatively recently it was, notionally, played by amateurs – even at the highest level.
This meant that rather than working class riff-raff, union was the domain of lawyers, accountants, and businessmen.
All gentlemen, apparently.
Mainly, though, the sport is a thorough bore bound by so many technicalities, rules, and laws, that American football is a breeze to understand by comparison.
(This comes from someone who – reminder – is from Western Australia so therefore had no knowledge that rugby league even existed until he arrived in Sydney at the age of almost 19).
The basic premise of 'Bloodgate' is that a player faked an injury so that he could be substituted.
But not with some soccerish injury dramatics, writhing around on the ground in feigned agony.
This is even larger than Gene Simmons style fakery.
The player, Tom Williams, playing for Harlequins, crushed a blood capsule on the field during a European Cup match while a doctor also entered into this pact of deceit by cutting and stitching a non-existent wound.
The reason for this?
So Williams could be replaced by a player more able to kick what may have been the game-winning point.
Instant justice: the replacement missed.
You can read how the events unfolded here.
The fallout has seen not just the player but club officials banned, the career of the club's Director of Rugby rightly derailed, but the club hit with sanctions too.
This was an astonishing premeditated act of indefensible cynical cheating.
The gentlemen's game?
At least with Kiss, even as impressionable not-yet teenagers, we knew it was an act all along.